Lives of the fellows

Peter Michael Rooze

b.26 June 1917 d.23 May 1994
MRCS LRCP(1943) MRCP(1954) FRCP(1973)

Although Peter Michael Rooze was born in London, his background was European. His father was Belgian, his mother English and the family moved to Antwerp a year after his birth. He was educated at the Lycée d’Anvers, but returned to England in 1937 to study medicine at the London Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1943. He fulfilled hospital appointments at the London in surgery and as resident accoucheur before joining the RAMC in 1944. He served in South East Asia command, India, from 1945 to 1946, and at the end of the war was sent to Poona.

He decided to specialize in chest diseases after being diagnosed as having pulmonary tuberculosis and receiving treatment in Johannesburg. On returning to England he worked as a registrar in Bedford, as a senior registrar in Middlesborough from 1950 to 1952, and as a senior hospital medical officer in Chester from 1952 to 1958, before going to South Shields as consultant chest physician, an area where there was still much to be done in the treatment of tuberculosis. In addition the local industries of coal mining and shipbuilding provided much work for a respiratory physician. He belonged to the generation of chest physicians who saw the emphasis of the speciality change from tuberculosis to lung cancer, and adapted to the greater integration of the chest services with general medicine. He came equipped with all the skills required for using the old rigid bronchoscope, unusual in respiratory physicians at that time, and introduced fibreoptic bronchoscopy towards the end of his consultant career. From 1962 he was a clinical tutor. He retired in 1979, following a coronary occlusion a year before.

Peter Rooze was a man of diverse interests. He was multilingual, fluent in French, Flemish, Dutch and English. As a schoolboy in Belgium he developed a keen interest in hockey and was a right half for London University. He founded the South Shields Hockey Club in 1960, of which he was president. He was also a keen and knowledgeable ornithologist and a member of South Shields Bird-Watchers Club. He enjoyed fell walking when time and work permitted and also enjoyed good wine and good music.

Peter married Joan Grace in 1944. They had three children, a son and then twins, a girl and a boy, forming a close family of high achievers. He died of emphysema. He led a full and varied life and career, contributing much to the population he served, to his interests outside medicine and to the clinical and educational environment of South Shields.

L G Bryson

(Volume X, page 423)

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